For Holocaust survivors, the fight against cancer reawakens old fears

By Ruth Sinai

Ben-Zion Ben-Ari was 13 when World War II came to Transnistria, in the Ukraine. For three years, he evaded the transports to the work camps and death camps. His father was taken in one Aktion. When his mother was captured, he decided to stay with her. They survived the camps and immigrated to Israel after the war.

In Israel, Ben-Ari made a life for himself, putting the horrors of the war behind him until he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 50. “For three years, I waged a daily war against death,” Ben-Ari relates. “Suddenly, after all those years, I was told I had a serious illness and I had to fight death once more.”

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